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Los Angeles Man

Prehistoric Los Angeles Man imagined in display at La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. Los Angeles Almanac Photo.

In 1936, construction workers excavating a storm drain in the Ballona Creek area of West Los Angeles, unearthed the mineralized cranium of a human skull. These remains came to be known as Los Angeles Man. Although later radiocarbon dating at the UCLA radiocarbon laboratory indicated an age of about 23,600 years, the sample from the skull was small and not considered sufficient to produce conclusive dating. Scientists also see no conclusive evidence of human habitation in the Los Angeles area prior to 10,250 years ago, so the remains of a 23,600-year-old human resident presents problems. It is perhaps safer to maintain, at this time, that Los Angeles Man is actually closer to 8,000-10,000 years old.

Also see: On the morphology of the fossil hominids of Laguna Beach and Los Angeles, Journal of Human Evolution, Dec. 1980.